What is Arare? Exploring this Traditional Japanese Snack


Arare is a unique type of Japanese snack that’s been around since ancient times. Crafted from glutinous rice and shaped into colorful balls, these delectable treats are known for their distinctive crunchy texture and sweet flavor.

With its interesting history and wide variety of flavors, it’s no wonder why arare has become such a beloved snack in Japan and beyond.

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique snack to add to your repertoire, then arare is the perfect choice.

What is Arare?

Arare is a unique type of Japanese snack that has been around since ancient times. The snack is made from glutinous rice which is shaped into small balls. These little morsels are usually brightly colored and have a crunchy texture and sweet flavor.

Arare comes in a variety of flavors such as sesame, soy sauce, matcha, chocolate, and even wasabi! This versatile snack has become a favorite in Japan and around the world.

Arare has a long and rich history in Japan. It dates back to the Heian period (794-1185) when it was known as “Kashiwa Mochi,” a type of rice cake. During the Edo era (1603-1867), the snack became popular and its name changed to “arare ”, which means “hailstones” in Japanese due to its resemblance to hailstones. It is still popular today and can be found in many traditional konbini (Japanese convenience stores).

The making of arare


The main ingredient for making arare is glutinous rice. The rice is soaked overnight and then pounded into a paste before it is shaped and colored. Other ingredients such as sugar, salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, matcha powder, chocolate chips, and wasabi can be added to give the snack different flavors. The balls are then steamed and cooled before they are ready to be enjoyed.

Preparation process

Making arare is an easy and fun process that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Firstly, you will need to gather all your ingredients, which include: glutinous rice powder, water, sugar, and flavoring of your choice.

Types of arare

Traditional arare

Traditional arare is the classic version of this popular Japanese snack. It is usually made with white glutinous rice and flavored with soy sauce or sugar. This type of arare has a subtle sweetness and an unmistakable crunchy texture. It is often served at festivals and special occasions in Japan, as well as enjoyed as an everyday snack. Traditional arare can be found in most Japanese grocery stores.

Modern variations

In recent years, modern variations of arare have become increasingly popular. These variations include flavors such as matcha, chocolate, and even wasabi! The modern versions of arare are still made with the same ingredients as the traditional version but the flavors and shapes can vary greatly. These unique and creative snacks can be found in many specialty shops or online stores. They make for a great gift or a delicious treat for yourself.

Regional variations of arare


Japan has always had a special relationship with arare. As the birthplace of this delectable snack, it is no surprise that there are many regional variations of arare in Japan. In the Kansai region, for example, arare is known as “ama-arare” and is usually flavored with matcha powder and soy sauce. In the Ky ushu and Okinawa regions, arare is known as “kakimochi” and usually comes in cube or triangle shapes.

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is also home to its own unique variety of arare. In countries like Thailand and Malaysia, arare is often known as “kuih bakul” or “kuih sepit”. These snacks are usually made with glutinous rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk for added flavor. The dough is then rolled into small balls and deep-fried until golden brown.


Hawaii is one of the few places in the world where you can enjoy arare. In Hawaii, arare is known as “mochi crunch” and has become an iconic snack. It is made using glutinous rice and sugar and comes in a variety of flavors, including coconut, mango, macadamia nut, and more. Mochi crunch is often served at l uaus or as an accompaniment to shave ice.

Culinary use of arare

Snack food

Snack food is a popular way to enjoy arare. This crunchy, sweet snack can be used in countless recipes and enjoyed in many different ways. For example, it can be served with ice cream as a topping, added to trail mixes, used as a coating for deep-fried foods, or simply enjoyed on its own. Arare can also be used to make desserts such as mochi ice cream and arare cookies.

Ingredient in dishes

Arare can also be used as an ingredient in various dishes. In Japan, arare is often added to soups and stews for a unique flavor and texture. It can also be served with stir-fries or as a topping for rice bowls. In Hawaii, mochi crunch is often added to salads for an extra crunchy element. No matter how you use it, adding arare to your dishes will add an extra layer of flavor and texture.

Seasonal significance

Arare has a special seasonal significance in Japan. During the winter months, it is often enjoyed as an accompaniment to hot drinks like o-cha (green tea) or hot sake. In the spring, arare is often used as an offering for hanami (flower viewing) parties. Arare is also associated with festivals and celebrations all year round.

Health benefits of arare

Nutritional content

Arare is a healthy snack option with many nutritional benefits. It is made with glutinous rice, which is high in carbohydrates and low in fat and calories. Additionally, it contains vitamins B1, B2, and E, as well as minerals such as calcium and iron. Furthermore, soy sauce used to flavor arare adds niacin, riboflavin and thiamin to the snack, all of which are important for a balanced diet.

Positive effects on digestion

Arare can have positive effects on digestion due to its high fiber and carbohydrate content. The fiber content helps to regulate the digestive process, while the carbohydrates provide energy that helps sustain the body throughout the day. Additionally, arare is low in fat and calories, making it a healthier snack option than many other processed foods. Eating arare can help to maintain a healthy weight and keep your digestive system running smoothly.


In summary, arare is a delicious snack that has been enjoyed in Japan for centuries. There are many regional variations of arare that have developed over the years, including ama-arare, kaki mochi, and mochi crunch. It can be used as a snack food on its own or as an ingredient in dishes like soups and stews.

Arare is a unique and delicious snack with a variety of uses. It is enjoyed around the world in various forms, from mochi crunch in Hawaii to kuih bakul in Malaysia. Not only is it a tasty treat, but it also has many nutritional benefits, including high fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon snack or an ingredient to add to a dish, arare is sure to please.


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